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    2011 Reading Challenge

    Fiendishly Bookish has read 3 books toward her goal of 250 books.



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    New Fiendish Review: Afterlight by Elle Jasper

    Book:                Afterlight

    Author:             Elle Jasper

    Publisher:        Signet

    ISBN/ASIN:       9780451231673

    Release Date:    Out Now!!!!

    Rating:                4 Stars

    Check out Elle's Page and find out more about The Dark Ink Chronicles.

    Elle Jasper’s debut series, The Dark Ink Chronicles begins with Afterlight, a dreamy, scrumptious read that I could not put down about tattoo artist Riley Poe whose rare blood type becomes the instrument in a complicated triumvirate that plunges her into the middle of two warring vampire factions on the steamy streets of Savannah.

    On one side is the heritage of the Gullah, who have protected her most of her life, and masked her blood from any would-be enemies. Aligned with them is the mysterious House of Dupre, whose family has maintained an almost eternal state of vigilance over the city. Together they must defeat the resurrected threat of Victorian and Valerian Arcos who once left a bloody trail throughout the region.

    Afterlight feels like a fully plotted novel, with a sensory explosion at every page turn. Scenes come alive, are rich and meaty, and worth savoring every bit. One can almost inhale the briny air, and sweep aside the Spanish moss. It appears that Jasper’s words are a conduit for all things Southern as well as a setting master: Da Plat Eye, Inksomnia, Bonaventure, and the House of Dupre feel so intensely tangible-and vibrantly real.

    Her descriptive scenes exhibit a love for Savannah, its terrain, history, sounds, smells, and the feel of her dreamy town is mesmerizing. It is a perfect setting for Afterlight and Jasper has managed to reinvigorate the paranormal genre inserting the cultural background of the Gullah into the textural fabric of her story. Afterlight almost reminds me a bit of Adrian Phoenix’s Black Dust Mambo, which has the same Southern sinister vibe.

    This is one of the freshest debuts that I have come across in a while that gives a reader exactly what they are hankering for. Steadiness, direction as well as plot development, character fleshout are in plentiful supply as is the overall edgy and sexy feel to the book.

    But one can also get the sense that things in Afterlight are a bit too easy too, conflicts too easily resolved, or not drawn out enough. Sometimes the erotic draw to a novel can be its overwhelming deprivation between its two leads. Though glimmers of this are present…on the whole it is missing. Jasper leaves us on the proverbial unresolved cliff’s edge, set for the sequel Everdark.

    I suspect that more conflict will be in the making for Riley Poe and Eli Dupre, coupled with the overwhelming allure that Jasper has thrust into her novel: Victorian Arcos. Now that is a character that I want to delve into at length. Pardon the pun. :)

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review and One Grumpy Cat


    New Juicy Review: Caleb by Sarah McCarty


    Book:          Caleb (The Shadow Wranglers)

    Author:        Sarah McCarty

    ISBN:           0425230570

    Publisher:    Berkley

    Rating:        Four Stars

     The lure of Sarah McCarty's novels is that they are deliciously sensual, descriptive, and heavy on relationship. By comparison to other urban fantasy/paranormal novels, Caleb might a bit light on plot, but the overwhelming feeling is that McCarty is taking her time to get the story right, unwinding it slowly and making sure that the connection between her two main characters is solid, grounded. In fact it is McCarty's cornerstone. Caleb presents well: feisty, sensual, and feral in some action scenes-everything a paranormal romance should be.

    The relationship and obstacles between Caleb Johnson and Allie Sanders is fraught with frenzy, passion and McCarty draws that thread tautly. What was surprising was the presence of subtle nuances of pure urban fantasy writing. Is McCarty at a crossroads perchance?

    I was deeply curious and hungered for more of the D'Nally wolves (especially clothing-challenged Ian D'Nally), Derek the werewolf, and the McClaren wolves. Caleb was largely missing a backstory of the Johnson brothers. With Calebs' turning aside, how were the Johnson's lives in the Wild West as vampire wranglers? McCarty only provides hints. What tales McCarty could have spun, further lynch pinning her story to her readers. I eagerly look forward to the next in the series and hope that McCarty doesn't play it too close to the vest next time. Readers are dying for Slade and Jared's secrets.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review


    New Juicy Review: Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost

     Book:        Destined for an Early Grave

    Author:     Jeaniene Frost

    ISBN:        0061583219

    Publisher: Avon

    Rating:      Five Stars

    It's hard not to gush when reviewing anything by Jeaniene Frost, especially the Night Huntress series. This is simply because she has an inordinate balance, a grasp on the critical elements that make readers clamor for more. The creation of Bones is right up there with Tom Fenris, Jamie Frasier, Jean-Claude, Erik Northman, and Kisten. In fact, I think the series is more Bones' rather than Cats. The dialogue is flawless, illuminating both the mind-set, and emotional framework of the interactions between our two dynamic main characters. One feverishly keeps flipping pages because It's.Just.That.Good.

    In Destined For An Early Grave Bones and Cat hit yet again another road bump, but this one surpasses all the other obstacles they have encountered. Another vamp, has laid a prior blood claim to Cat and a fight is on that could flow into a full-scaled war among the factions, particularly that of Menchere's line and Gregor's. Bones' is not ready in this life, or next, to give up Cat to this usurper-but the rocky road their path has been paved upon has been done so with as much love, as distrust, and fear.

    Those components play a major part in the evolution of these characters. There is a huge break, (ladies blink back the tears) `tween Cat and Bones and it's so seriously wrought that I was truly, truly, taken in.(Bravo Jeaniene!)And the final hurdle to cross over permanently becomes blazingly obvious for the two. Will Cat take the final step and have Bones turn her fully?

    Without a doubt, Destined is the finale to end all finales for this series but Frost wouldn't put us out in the cold. She's created a spin-off series with Spade (slurp) that I am eagerly looking forward to.

    I'd say whomever Frost modeled Bones after, please point me in his direction stat!

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review